Sokhumi is delaying the consideration of the foreign agents law. At the same time, pressure on NGO operating in occupied Gali

Georgian Dream adopted the Russian law, which restricts free and critical opinions in Georgia. The adoption of the bill blocks the path of the people of Georgia to the European Union.

Discussions and concerns about the draft law on agents of foreign influence have not subsided in Abkhazia. The de facto president of Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, submitted the draft law "On non-profit organizations and individuals acting as foreign agents" to the Parliament of Abkhazia on February 7, 2024.  However, unlike Tbilisi, where the parliament passed the Russian law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence" in three readings in less than two months, the de facto parliament of Abkhazia has not yet started considering the draft law. 

On April 11, 2024, the opposition of Abkhazia appealed to de facto president Aslan Bzhania with the request to withdraw the draft law, which, in their estimation, threatens the national interest of Abkhazia, the constitutional order and the freedom of citizens. At the same time, the opposition threatened the president with organization of a general public assembly in case of not satisfying their demand. It is likely that the delay in the hearings is related to the fear of riots and confrontations, as indicated by the organization of a number of negotiations and sessions regarding the draft law (unlike Tbilisi), including with the involvement of the opposition, journalists and civil society. On his part, Aslan Bzhania threatens that he is not going to withdraw the draft law, since the actions of non-governmental organizations prevent the development of friendly relations between Abkhazia and Russia, and it is necessary to restrict their activities in Abkhazia, and in some cases, to ban them.

Concerns regarding the draft law increased in the Abkhaz society after the parliament of Georgia adopted the law in the third reading on May 15, 2024. According to Asida Lomia, chairwoman of the Children's Fund, it is true that many opponents constantly emphasize the difference in the influence of the law on the internal political orientations of Abkhazia and Georgia, although there are certain comparisons and similarities. "We hope that this stupid example will not always be contagious," she said.

Although the support to civil society organizations is evident in some circles of the de facto authorites, the practice of intimidation of the employees of civil society organizations continues in Gali.

Despite the absence of the law, the de facto security service continues to interfere with the activities of non-governmental organizations operating on the territory of Abkhazia and to put psychological pressure on them. In April, under the pretext of a search, representatives of the de facto ministry of security conducted raids in the offices of non-governmental organizations operating in occupied Gali - they seizued documents, copied materials from computers, and "individually interviewed" employees. Locals believe that the purpose of the interviews was to find traces of non-governmental organizations’ interference in the affairs of the de facto state of Abkhazia, actions against national interests and invovlment in the "beneficial activities for the state of Georgia".

Despite pressure, international and local non-governmental organizations operating on the territory of occupied Abkhazia continue their activities. However, on an individual level, employees find it difficult to cope with the stressful environment, and for many, quitting is the only way out of the pressure.

While part of the Abkhazian political elite shows resistance to Russian influence, raids and intimidation remain to be the tool of harassment and methodical expulsion of international and local organizations for the NGO-hostile wing of Abkhazia's de facto government, with or without the passage of the Russian law on agents of foreign influence.